Iowa Football

Iowa football: Storylines that shaped the 2019 season

From Iowa State soggy but swaggy to the blueblood ceiling to running wild on USC in the Holiday Bowl

A line of Iowa Hawkeyes players parade Floyd of Rosedale through the crowd as they celebrate their Big Ten Conference fo
A line of Iowa Hawkeyes players parade Floyd of Rosedale through the crowd as they celebrate their Big Ten Conference football win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Iowa won 23-19. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The story of Iowa football 2019 really started at Iowa State. Yeah, there were two games before the Cy-Hawk rain delay. They were supposed to be wins and they were.

During nearly three hours of storm delays, Iowa State fans ran out on the field and danced in the rain. The Iowa staff sent managers and state troopers out for sub sandwiches.

“Yeah, they were really good,” defensive end A.J. Epenesa said. “I needed one really bad.”

Quarterback Nate Stanley had a goatee. Kicker Keith Duncan hit four field goals including a 39-yarder in the rain and soggy that held up as the winning points. That story kept going all season and delivered Duncan to a national awards banquet.

The Iowa marching band was assaulted in Jack Trice Stadium and then we learned that the Iowa State band had been through some bouts of its own in Kinnick Stadium.

If you’re a fan of college marching bands at college football games, that ship might’ve sailed for the Cy-Hawk series. Nothing is set in stone, but that is where this is headed. The game will go on and it should. If, however, there’s any nastiness in Cy-Hawk 2020, it’s time to take a break. Remember in the movie “Jaws,” the mayor wanted to keep Amity Beach open because business was good.

Let’s not allow something to happen that we’ll all regret.

Keep your hands to yourselves. If that’s too much to ask, then we can’t have Cy-Hawk.

Back to football.

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The Hawkeyes (10-3) once again managed their trophy games about as well as you could hope. The Hawkeyes beat ISU for the fifth straight year, beat Minnesota for the fifth straight year and beat Nebraska for the fifth straight year.

You could make a solid case that Minnesota was the best win of the season. Iowa spoiled a perfect record against the then-No. 8 Gophers.

This was a season where Iowa did what you thought it might do. It handled its business with programs it has regularly handled in the past and couldn’t overcome enough in the three losses against, you’re really going to start to hate this term, what you’d consider “blueblood” programs.

The Minnesota win was big. It checked the “last time Iowa beat a ranked opponent” box. Before a classic Kirk Ferentz “two-score milker” of a 23-19 win over the Gophers, Iowa’s last win over a ranked team was No. 5 Ohio State in 2017. Before breaking through vs. the Gophers, it was 0-for-6, including three empty plate appearances going into UM (Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin).

The offense was the sticking point in a 10-3 loss at Michigan and a 17-12 home loss to Penn State. Michigan piled up 10 sacks and, subsequently, Iowa had 1 rushing yard. The Hawkeyes passed in 20 of their last 21 plays and didn’t get any points out of six trips to at least Michigan’s 36.

Penn State had a matchup advantage in pass rush and exploited it, applying pressure from the middle way too many times for Stanley to find consistent time to operate.

Things improved for the offense vs. Wisconsin, it still wasn’t productive, rushing for 87 yards. What hurt there was UW rushing for 300 yards and running back Jonathan Taylor going for 250 of those yards, the best rushing performance against Iowa since 2000.

Forget the “blueblood” thing for a minute and just consider the Wisconsin thing. Wisconsin and Iowa have traded off being “big brother” to each other forever. The Badgers are currently enjoying a four-game winning streak and everything — Big Ten West Division titles, trips to Indianapolis and the Rose Bowl — that comes with it.

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It’s a shackle Iowa has to shatter. And, yes, everyone employed by the program knows this.

Wisconsin isn’t the only obstacle in the Big Ten West. The latest head coach hirings have taken root. You saw Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck. He turned the conversation from him being a hyper kook to Minnesota having 11 wins. Purdue’s Jeff Brohm had an avalanche of injuries, but gets tremendous wide receiver Rondale Moore with tremendous wide receiver David Bell next year. Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst runs an offense that hasn’t changed much since the late ’90s and it still works.

Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald gets to reboot with a new offensive coordinator in 2020. The jury simply still is out on Nebraska head coach Scott Frost. The offense is a yardage machine, but the pace doesn’t complement the defense.

The Hawkeyes walked a positive path out of 2019. Going into Wisconsin, Iowa snapped a three-game losing streak to Northwestern and a two-game streak against Purdue.

After the bitter loss at Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes buckled the chin strap and won four straight, including a demolition of USC, 49-24, in the Holiday Bowl. It was the program’s first win over USC since 1961.

The strong finish can be your takeaway. The frustration against the Big Ten upper crust can be your takeaway. Both happened this season.

Either way, the complaining about Iowa’s zone blocking scheme will begin anew here in spring.

Kirk Ferentz offenses ranked

Rushing Totals

1. 2002 — 553 rushes for 2,784 yards (214.2)

2. 2015 — 568 for 2,544 (181.7)

3. 2008 — 515 for 2,435 (188.7)

4. 2013 — 557 for 2,339 (179.9)

5. 2003 — 535 for 2,241 (172.4)

6. 2016 — 502 for 2,234 (171.8)

7. 2014 — 514 for 2,120 (163.1)

8. 2001 — 488 for 2,104 (175.3)

9. 2005 — 436 for 2,096 (174.7)

10. (tie) 2010 — 449 for 1,929 (148.4)

2018 — 488 for 1,929 (148.4)

12. 2006 — 432 for 1,865 (143.5)

13. 2017 — 481 for 1,810 (139.2)

14. 2011 — 454 for 1,790 (137.7)

15. 2019 — 453 for 1,789 (137.6)

16. 2007 — 438 for 1,515 (126.2)

17. 2009 — 454 for 1,485 (114.2)

18. 2012 — 404 for 1,476 (123.0)

19. 2000 — 403 for 1,090 (90.8)

20. 1999 — 339 for 1.028 (93.5)

21. 2004 — 428 for 871 (72.6)

 

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Ranking Kirk Ferentz Runners

(Best seasons in Kirk Ferentz era)

1. Shonn Greene 307 carries for 1,850 yards, 20 TDs (2008)

2. Marcus Coker 281 carries for 1,384 yards, 15 TDs (2011)

3. Fred Russell 282 carries for 1,355 yards, 7 TDs (2003)

4. Albert Young 249 carries for 1,334 yards, 8 TDs (2005)

5. Russell 220 carries for 1,264 yards, 9 TDs (2002)

6. Akrum Wadley 252 carries for 1,109 yards, 10 TDs (2017)

7. Ladell Betts 232 carries for 1,090 yards, 5 TDs (2000)

8. Akrum Wadley 168 carries for 1,081 yards, 10 TDs (2016)

9. Betts 222 carries for 1,060 yards, 10 TDs (2001)

10. LeShun Daniels 213 carries for 1,058 yards, 10 TDs (2016)

11. Jordan Canzeri 183 for 984 yards, 12 TDs (2015)

12. Mark Weisman 226 carries for 974 yards, 8 TDs (2013)

13. Young 206 carries for 968 yards, 6 TDs (2007)

14. Adam Robinson 203 carries for 941 yards, 10 TDs (2010)

15. Betts 189 carries for 857 yards, 5 TDs (1999)

16. Robinson 181 carries for 834 yards, 5 TDs (2009)

17. Weisman 159 carries for 815 yards, 8 TDs (2012)

18. Young 178 carries for 779 yards, 7 TDs (2006)

19. Mekhi Sargent 159 carries for 745 yards (2018)

20. Jermelle Lewis 123 carries for 709 yards, 8 TDs (2002)

(In 2019, Tyler Goodson became the first true freshman to lead Iowa in rushing with 638 yards. That’s the fewest yards for an Iowa leading rusher since Sam Brownlee had 227 in 2004.)

Passing Totals

1. 2006 — 248 of 423 for 3,118 yards (58.6 completion percentage, 21 TDs, 19 INTs)

2. 2005 — 245 of 404 for 3,093 yards (60.6%, 23 TDs, 8 INTs)

3. 2014 — 265 of 437 for 3,081 yards (60.6%, 21 TDs, 7 INTs)

4. 2011 — 240 of 412 for 3,052 yards (58.3%, 25 TDs, 8 INTs)

5. 2010 — 226 of 357 for 3,049 yards (63.3%, 26 TDs, 6 INTs)

6. 2019 — 243 of 411 for 2,976 yards (59.1%, 16 TDs, 7 INTs)

7. 2018 — 242 of 408 for 2,946 yards (59.3%, 27 TDs, 11 INTs)

8. 2009 — 213 of 392 for 2,887 yards (54.3%, 19 TDs, 20 INTs)

9. 2004 — 239 of 385 for 2,881 yards (62.1%, 20 TDs, 14 INTs)

10. 2015 — 227 of 369 for 2,862 yards (61.5%, 17 TDs, 5 INTs)

11. 2002 — 182 of 314 for 2,734 yards (57.9%, 27 TDs, 5 INTs)

12. 2001 — 210 of 323 for 2,618 yards (65.0%, 20 TDs, 13 INTs)

13. 2000 — 230 of 404 for 2,580 yards (56.9%, 16 TDs, 11 INTs)

14. 2013 — 213 of 375 for 2,562 yards (56.8%, 19 TDs, 15 INTs)

15. 2017 — 199 of 355 for 2,473 yards (56.1%, 27 TDs, 6 INTs)

16. 2008 — 187 of 320 for 2,362 yards (58.4%, 16 TDs, 11 INTs)

17. 2007 — 199 of 376 for 2,281 yards (52.9%, 17 TDs, 7 INTs)

18. 1999 — 202 of 376 for 2,275 yards (53.7%, 6 TDs, 9 INTs)

19. 2012 — 223 of 389 for 2,249 yards (57.3%, 7 TDs, 8 INTs)

20. 2003 — 171 of 320 for 2,095 yards (53.4%, 19 TDs, 10 INTs)

21. 2016 — 175 of 310 for 1,991 yards (56.6%, 17 TDs, 10 INTs)

 

Kirk Ferentz QB numbers

2019 — Nate Stanley 237 of 399 for 2,951 yards, 59.4, 16 TDs, 7 INTs, 131.25 efficiency

2018 — Nate Stanley 235 of 396 for 2,852 yards, 59.3, 26 TDs, 10 INTs, 136.46 efficiency

2017 — Nate Stanley 196 of 351 for 2,437 yards, 55.8, 26 TDs, 6 INTs, 135.18 efficiency

2016 — C.J. Beathard 170 of 301 for 1,929 yards, 56.5, 17 TDs, 10 INTs, 122.32 efficiency

2015 — C.J. Beathard 223 of 362 for 2,809 yards, 61.6, 17 TDs, 5 INTs, 139.52 efficiency

2014 — Jake Rudock 213 of 345 for 2436 yards, 61.7, 16 TDs, 5 INTs, 133.46 efficiency

2013 — Jake Rudock 204 of 346 for 2,383 yards, 59 percent completions, 18 TDs, 13 INTs, 126.47 efficiency

2012 — James Vandenberg 223 of 389 for 2,249 yards, 57.3 percent completions, 7 TDs, 8 INTs, 107.72 efficiency

2011 — James Vandenberg 237 of 404 for 3,022 yards, 58.7 percent completions, 25 TDs, 7 INTs, 138.44 efficiency

2010 — Ricky Stanzi 221 of 345 for 3,004 yards, 64.1 percent completions, 25 TDs, 6 INTs, 157.63 efficiency

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2009 — Ricky Stanzi 171 of 304 for 2,417 yards, 56.3 percent completions, 15 TDs, 15 INTs, 131.62 efficiency

2008 — Ricky Stanzi 150 of 254 for 1,956 yards, 59.1 percent completions, 14 TDs, 9 INTs, 134.35 efficiency

2007 — Jake Christensen 198 of 370 for 2,269 yards, 53.5 percent completions, 17 TDs, 6 INTs, 116.94 efficiency

2006 — Drew Tate 207 of 352 for 2,623 yards, 58.8 percent completions, 18 TDs, 13 INTs, 130.89 efficiency

2005 — Drew Tate 219 of 352 for 2,828 yards, 62.2 percent completions, 22 TDs, 7 INTs, 146.35 efficiency

2004 — Drew Tate 233 of 375 for 2,786 yards, 62.1 percent completions, 20 TDs, 14 INTs, 134.67 efficiency

2003 — Nathan Chandler 165 of 307 for 2,040 yards, 53.7 percent completions, 18 TDs, 10 INTs, 122.40 efficiency

2002 — Brad Banks 170 of 294 for 2,575 yards, 57.8 percent completions, 26 TDs, 5 INTs, 157.12 efficiency

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2001 — Kyle McCann 167 of 252 for 2,028 yards, 66.3 percent completions, 16 TDs, 11 INTs, 146.09 efficiency

2000 — Trio II 230 of 404 for 2,580 yards, 56.9 percent completions, 16 TDs, 11 INTs, 118.20 efficiency

1999 — Trio I 202 of 376 for 2,275 yards, 53.7 percent completions, 6 TDs, 9 INTs, 105.03 efficiency

Trio I — Kyle McCann, Randy Reiners, Scott Mullen

Trio II — McCann, Mullen, Jon Beutjer

 

Total offense

1. 2002 — 5,518 yards of offense (6.4 yards per play, 424.5 yards per game)

2. 2015 — 5,406 yards (5.77 per play, 386.1 per game)

3. 2014 — 5,201 yards (5.47 per play, 400.1 per game)

4. 2005 — 5,189 yards (6.2 per play, 432.4 per game)

5. 2015 — 4,983 yards (5.8 per play, 383.3 per game)

6. 2010 — 4,978 yards (6.18 per play, 382.9 per game)

7. 2013 — 4,900 yards (5.26 per play, 376.9 per game)

8. 2018 — 4,875 yards (5.44 per play, 375.0 per game)

9. 2011 — 4,842 yards (5.60 per play, 372.5 per game)

10. 2008 — 4,815 yards (5.8 per play, 370.4 per game)

11. 2019 — 4,765 yards (5.5 per play, 366.5 per game)

12. 2001 — 4,722 yards (5.8 per play, 393.5 per game)

13. 2009 — 4,372 yards (5.17 per play, 336.3 per game)

14. 2003 — 4,336 yards (5.1 per play, 333.5 per game)

15. 2017 — 4,283 yards (5.12 per play, 329.5 per game)

16. 2016 — 4,225 yards (5.20 per play, 325.0 per game)

17. 2007 — 3,796 yards (4.7 per play, 316.3 per game)

18. 2004 — 3,752 yards (4.6 per play, 312.7 per game)

19. 2012 — 3,725 yards (4.70 per play, 310.4 per game)

20. 2000 — 3,670 yards (4.5 per play, 305.8 per game)

21. 1999 — 3,303 yards (4.6 per play, 300.3 per game)

 

Ranking Kirk Ferentz receivers

(Yards in a season)

1. Marvin McNutt 1,315 yards, 12 TDs (2011)

2. Kevin Kasper 1,010 yards, 7 TDs (2000)

3. Maurice Brown 966 yards, 11 TDs (2002)

4. Clinton Solomon 905 yards, 6 TDs (2004)

5. McNutt 861 yards, 8 TDs (2010)

6. Kahlil Hill 841 yards, 8 TDs (2001)

7. Solomon 800 yards, 7 TDs (2005)

8. T.J. Hockenson 760 yards, 6 TDs (2018)

9. Derrell Johnson-Koulianos 750 yards, 2 TDs (2009)

10. Johnson-Koulianos 745 yards, 10 TDs (2010)

11. Ed Hinkel 744 yards, 7 TDs (2004)

12. Dallas Clark 742 yards, 4 TDs (2002)

13. Andy Brodell 724 yards, 5 TDs (2006)

14. Ihmir Smith-Marsette 722 yards, 5 TDs (2019)

15. Keenan Davis 713 yards, 4 TDs (2011)

16. Matt VandeBerg 703 yards, 4 TDs (2015)

17. McNutt 674 yards, 8 TDs (2009)

18. Kasper 664 yards, 3 TDs (1999)

19. Dominique Douglas 654 yards, 2 TDs (2006)

20. Johnson-Koulianos 639 yards, 3 TDs (2008)

21. Hill 619 yards, 5 TDs (2000)

Kirk Ferentz era receptions (season)

1. (tie) Marvin McNutt (2011) and Kevin Kasper (2000) 82

3. Matt VandeBerg (2015) 65

4. Ed Hinkel (2004) 63

5. Kasper (1999) 60

6. Kahlil Hill (2001) 59

7. (tie) Hill (2000) and Clinton Solomon (2004) 58

9. McNutt (2010) 53

10. (tie) Nick Easley (2018) and Kevonte Martin-Manley (2014) and Martin-Manley (2012) 52

13. Easley (2017) 51

14. Keenan Davis (2011) 50

15. (tie) Dominique Douglas (2006) and T.J. Hockenson (2018) 49

17. Maurice Brown (2002) 48

18. (tie) Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (2010) and Solomon (2005) 46

20. Johnson-Koulianos (2009) 45

21. (tie) Johnson-Koulianos (2008) and Ihmir Smith-Marsette (2019) 44

23. Tevaun Smith (2014) 43

 

Scoring offense

1. 2002 — 37.2 points per game (60 TDs, 21 FGs)

2. 2001 — 32.6 points per game (51 TDs, 12 FGs)

3. 2018 — 31.2 points per game (50 TDs, 17 FGs)

4. 2015 — 30.9 points per game (56 TDs, 16 FGs)

5. 2008 — 30.3 points per game (46 TDs, 19 FGs)

6. 2005 — 30.0 points per game (42 TDs, 17 FGs)

7. 2010 — 28.9 points per game (48 TDs, 14 FGs)

8. 2003 — 28.7 points per game (39 TDs, 20 FGs)

9. 2014 — 28.2 points per game (47 TDs, 12 FGs)

10. (tie) 2002 — 37.2 points per game (60 TDs, 21 FGs)

2017 — 28.2 (48 TDs, 11 FGs)

12. 2013 — 26.3 points per game (42 TDs, 16 FGs)

13. 2019 — 25.8 points per game (36 TDs, 29 FGs)

14. 2016 — 24.9 points per game (42 TDs, 10 FGs)

15. 2004 — 24.3 points per game (30 TDs, 21 FGs)

16. 2006 — 23.8 points per game (37 TDs, 15 FGs)

17. 2009 — 23.2 points per game (35 TDs, 19 FGs)

18. 2012 — 19.3 points per game (26 TDs, 17 FGs)

19. 2007 — 18.5 points per game (28 TDs, 10 FGs)

20. 2000 — 16.9 points per game (23 TDs, 14 FGs)

21. 1999 — 14.7 points per game (20 TDs, 7 FGs)

Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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